Basilis Kanonidis, is a Product Manager & Growth Consultant at creativeG. He is the co-founder of creativeg.gr. He works as a freelance designer and prefers WordPress when it comes to development. He lives in Thessaloniki, Greece. In this interview, he discusses his views on WordCamps and working on client-side projects.
Cloudways: Basilakis, it’s great to have you with us today. Please tell our readers a bit about yourself. When did you start using WordPress and why did you choose WordPress out of all the CMS platforms available?
Hey, Guys! Thanks a lot for inviting me. I do appreciate it a lot! It is nice what you do, interviewing members of the WordPress Community.
Let’s get the party started!
I started with WordPress almost ten years ago. Back then, it used to be a blogging platform and not a powerful tool that it is today. I used to work with ExpressionEngine, and it was a great tool, but WordPress got in the way, and so I focused my attention on it.
The main reason: Open Source community have had everything in place, and there was no need to reinvent the wheel for every project.
Cloudways: You are a co-founder of creativeG and provide WordPress development services. Tell our readers how you began in this industry?
Together with my business partner Nikos, we started as a company, about seven years ago. One of the biggest turn we took last year, was switching our services to product based services ( and we still working in that direction, with September as our target ).
We have found that services like Cloudways can help us earn a lot more, if we upsell them, while we focus on what we do best: Build Web Sites that Sell.
Cloudways: Who are your best buddies in the WordPress Community? What would you suggest to WordPress beginners about whom they should follow and learn from?
If I can break it down, based on their abilities I would say:
- Pippin Williamson from Easy Digital Downloads as a developer
- Ionut Neagu from ThemeIsle as a CEO and leader
Cloudways: If WordPress would not have existed, which other CMS would you have preferred and why? Do you use any other CMS for your projects?
ExpressionEngine would be my choice. It is an amazing CMS, and if you manage to work with it, it can do a lot of stuff. Also, the source code might be a bit more streamlined than WordPress ( well, it was when I last checked! )
Cloudways: Being a WordPress developer and designer, you must be well aware of many WordPress plugins. Which ones are your favorite? Can you specify some tools you use more often?
Well, that depends on a lot on the project I am working.
These days, I always install the client version of wpMaintainer, management and maintenance plugin that I have developed, This plugin allows you to check and update your clients’ sites, remotely.
Cloudways: WordPress core is not particularly known for its speed and security. What are your recommendations to optimize and make the core more secure?
Caching is always something that I prefer to be done on the server side. This is why I look out for solutions like CloudWays. Regarding security, I do think that WordFence is one of the top products available in the market.
Cloudways: Can you share the most complicated or most interesting project you have worked on?
Two projects do stand out! One is our work at CapitolStandard, (which is based on the theme that we will release soon). The other one is Guestlist.gr (again, based on our theme), where we managed to optimise a WordPress site that gets around 1.2 million visits per month.
Cloudways:Have you attended any WordCamp? How are these meetups beneficial for the WordPress Community?
Actually, I have organized two WordCamps in Greece! It was almost 4 years ago and were based on the old rules of WordPress foundation. Nowadays, I think WordCamps are attended by companies and people (freelancers), who want to profit from the events rather than share knowledge. That is acceptable. However, I prefer to attend events, where we can actually learn rather than just see the same people, sharing the same stories. I would suggest the REST Conference and the WooCommerce event. On the other hand, there are some great news from THE X Theme, where the guys created an amazing meetup, and I think that Elegant Themes also hosted something related, which is great news for the community.
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Cloudways: Everybody needs to have some time off from work to relax. What do you do in your free time to relax? Are you fond of travelling? What is your favorite place to travel to, throughout the world?
I am not a traveller nor enjoy getting out of my comfort zone. I prefer to relax at home, with a nice bottle of vodka. At the moment, in my free time, I do work on a cool theme, which we use for our clients, and I wouldn’t mind sharing it for free.
For me, this post says everything!
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Danish was a WordPress Community Expert at Cloudways - A Managed WordPress Hosting Platform. He loves helping out WordPress beginners and solving their problems. His passions takes up his free time as well and he spends time designing, developing and learning new stuff. You can email him at [email protected]